Sunday Riley, the indie skin-care brand founded in 2009, announced on Tuesday a multi-year partnership with United Airlines, in which it will exclusively supply all beauty amenities for first- and business-class flights, as well as all airport-lounge toiletries. The goal is brand awareness.
United Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world, with around 120 international destinations. It had more than 158 million passengers in 2018, according to the company. Sunday Riley’s amenity kits will begin appearing in flights by April 23 — they’ll include a lip balm, a hand cream, a face cream and a single-use toner cloth, as well as a 20% off discount code to shop the brand’s products. The brand declined to share how many amenity kits will be supplied at any given time or what it will cost the brand to produce them; the duration of the partnership has not been finalized yet. At the same time, airport-lounge bathrooms will begin offering the brand’s hand wash, shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
“Sunday Riley recognizes that globalization is [increasing]. Everyone is more connected, and travel is a part of everyone’s life, and that includes our followers, customers and blog readers,” said Debbie Wu, public relations and influencer marketing senior manager at Sunday Riley.
With the exception of the face cream, all the products are entirely new categories for Sunday Riley, though they may be added to the brand’s assortment in the future, said Wu.
Travel has been steadily increasing over the last decade. According to travel research group IPK International, the North American market saw an 8% increase in outbound trips to international destinations in 2018. According to the U.S. Travel Association, international arrivals to the U.S. totaled nearly 77 million in 2017.
“[Founder] Sunday [Riley] and her team really took the time to understand how travel and the aircraft environment affects our customers, and formulated an in-flight remedy that complements their journey,” said United’s vp of marketing, Mark Krolick.
Other beauty brands currently providing airline amenities include Elemis for British Airways, Kiehl’s for Delta and Byredo for Emirates. For Sunday Riley, its relationship with United extends beyond serving airline customers; as part of its contract, all 88,000 United employees have a unique discount code granting them 25% off the brand’s products for three years.
Sunday Riley’s interest in travel will not end with United, Wu said. In May, the brand will be offering a travel subscription box as part of its quarterly subscription series, and it’s likely Sunday Riley will engage in other travel-related partnerships in the future, she said.
“We want to go beyond the vanity,” said Wu. “We’re a skin-care company, and that will always come first — but at the same time, we recognize that skin care is an extension of self-care and a broader part of overall wellness.”
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